Shivnarine (left) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul. Photo credit: West Indies Cricket Board Twitter handle.
Shivnarine (left) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul. Photo credit: West Indies Cricket Board Twitter handle.

Recently, Shivnarine Chanderpaul added a double century stand with his son in a club match. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the several instances in cricket history where father and son have appeared together in First-class cricket.

Last weekend, Shivnarine Chanderpaul put on 256 runs with son Tagenarine for Gandhi Youth Organisation against Transport Sports Club in a 40-over match held at the Unity Ground, East Coast Demerara. Father amassed 143 and son 112. Their team emerged triumphant by 125 runs.

The next day, the two turned out for Tiger Sports in a big win over Unity. Chanderpaul senior scored an unbeaten 68, while the younger man proved that he was a chip off the old block, scoring a resolute 35.

Playing grade cricket together is rare for father and son pairs. It is a tough ask for even the most enduring father to keep playing at the top level as his son makes his way through the ranks and joins him at the pinnacle.

Yet, the annals of cricket history inform us that such instances have indeed taken place more often than one expects– even at the First-class level.

Let us look at the recorded instances:

1. William Lillywhite, John Lillywhite and James Lillywhite (1851 – 1853): The famous Lillywhite family produced some of the leading cricketers through the 19th century, taking some pioneering steps to promote the game in England and elsewhere. It is no surprise then that the first time father and son was witnessed together on a cricket field involved this illustrious clan. Father William Lillywhite played alongside sons John and James in two matches, for Middlesex against Surrey in 1851 and for Sussex against England in 1853.

2. William Clarke and Arthur Clarke (1855): William Clarke was a slow bowler who scalped 797 First-class wickets. He was 57 by the time he led Nottinghamshire against England in 1855, and took 7 wickets in the match. Opening the batting for Nottinghamshire in the same match was son Arthur, who played 55 times for the Notts managing just one half-century.

3. WG Grace Senior and WG Grace Junior (1893-1900): The father of cricket did accompany his son to the ground in as many as 46 occasions, but WG junior did not inherit the same level of genius as his parent. This is one of the rare occasions when the career of the father ended after the son’s — in this case WG junior played his last match in 1900 and died in 1905 while WG senior went on to play until 1908.

4. WG Grace and CB Grace (1900 – 1906): The second Grace son played four First-class matches, all alongside his illustrious father. Two of these matches for the London County in 1900 featured WG senior, WG junior and CB Grace together.

5. Richard Daft and Harry Daft (1891): In his day, Richard Daft was one of the best batsmen of the country. After moving away from the county scene, he continued to make runs at local levels and was considered good enough at the age of 56 to earn a recall to the Nottinghamshire team. By then his son, the stylish Harry Daft, was already established in the side. They played together thrice.

6. AWF Somerset and APFC Somerset (1911-1913): The elder Somerset was no longer playing for Sussex by the time his son came into the picture, but the two did play 13 matches together for MCC on two separate tours to the West Indies, in 1911 and 1913.

7. Walter Mead and Harold Mead (1913): Walter Mead was a good enough spinner to play for England and be hailed as a Wisden cricketer of the year in 1904. Son Harold might have had a longer career if he was not critically injured as a private in the Essex regiment during the First World War. They played alongside each other twice, batting at Nos. 10 and 11.

8. Thomas Reese and Daniel Reese (1918): While the First World War raged, in a distant corner of the world, New Zealanders Thomas Reese and Daniel Reese appeared together for Canterbury against Otago. It was the 24th and last match played by father Reese, and his son went on to play just 11.

9. Lebrun Constantine and Learie Constantine (1922): Constantine Sr was the first West Indian to score a century on English soil. Constantine junior was the first superstar of West Indies cricket. They appeared together in one match for Trinidad against Barbados in the Inter-colonial Tournament Final.

10. Willie Quaife and Bernard Quaife (1920-1928): Willie Quaife was one of the most stylish batsmen of England who played 7 Tests as one of the shortest players to appear in International cricket. Son Bernard was a good enough wicketkeeper to play 319 First-class matches. The two played alongside each other on 20 occasions for Warwickshire before Quaife junior moved to Worcestershire.

11. Billy Bestwick and Robert Bestwick (1922): Billy Bestwick bowled fast-medium and played for Derbyshire 323 times between 1898 to 1925. Son Robert played just 5 matches between 1920 and 1922. In two of these matches, the Bestwicks played together.

12. George Gunn and George Vernon Gunn (1928 – 1932): In 1931, playing for Nottinghamshire against Warwickshire, George Vernon Gunn scored his first century, remaining unbeaten on 100. In the same match, his father George, at the age of 53, piled up 183. This is believed to be the only instance of father and son reaching three figures in the same First-class match. Gunn senior was perhaps the best batsman to play for Nottinghamshire, and Gunn junior, although he did not play for England like his father, did not do too badly either. They appeared in the same match on as many as 34 occasions.

13. Maharaja of Patiala and Yuvraj of Patiala (1932 – 1938): Yuvraj of Patiala was a useful cricketer, who hit 24 and 60 in the only Test he played. His father was a patron of the game whose talent did not really match his philanthropy. The two played together 6 times.

13. Dave Nourse and Dudley Nourse (1931 – 1936): Dave Nourse was known as the Grand Old Man of South African cricket for a reason. He continued to play till he was 57. His son, Dudley, was one of the finest batsmen ever produced by the country, with an exceptional Test record in spite of a major chunk of his career scooped out by the Second World War. They played alongside each other on 6 occasions.

14. Abdul Khaliq and Shaikh Nasiruddin (1941): Shaikh Nasiruddin, later His Highness the Shaikh Sahib of Mongrol, played 9 First-class matches with limited success, including five for Northamptonshire. His father, Abdul Khaliq, the previous Shaikh Sahib of Mongrol, played 19 times, crossing 50 just once. They turned out together for Western India in two matches, against Maharashtra and Bombay in 1941.

15. RWV Robins and RVC Robins (1954): Leg-spinning all-rounder of England, Walter Robins, did not play for Middlesex after 1951. His son Charles Robins was another leg-break googly exponent who made his debut for the county as a 18-year old in 1953. The 2 of them represented MCC against Cambridge University in 1954, sharing nine wickets between them — father taking 4 and son 5.

16. Bhagwant Singh and Arvind Singh (1961-1962): Bhagwant Singh, Maharana of Mewar, played for Rajputana and later Rajasthan with limited success. His son Arvind Singh made his debut in the winter of 1961 and turned out alongside his father in 4 matches before the Maharana busied himself in the affairs of the state. Together they played 52 matches in all, managing a paltry 4 half-centuries between them.

17. Lala Amarnath and Surinder Amarnath (1963) – With the Sino-Indian War raging along the border, 5 Defence Fund Matches were organised showcasing the brightest cricketing talent of India. In the fourth of these games, Maharashtra Chief Minister’s XI took on Maharashtra Governor’s XI at Poona. Fifty-two year old Lala Amarnath played for the Governor’s XI while 15-year old Surinder Amarnath turned out for the opposition. Both father and son managed an attractive forty-plus innings apiece.

18. Denis Streak and Heath Streak (1996): Denis Streak belonged to a period before Zimbabwe had achieved Test status, but managed to represent the country at lawn bowls. Son, Heath, however did much better, scoring almost 2000 runs and picking up 216 wickets for Zimbabwe. In 1996, Denis returned to First-class cricket after a gap of eleven years to bowl alongside his son as Matabeleland beat Mashonaland Country Districts to win the Lonrho Logan Cup.

Honourable mentions:

1. MG Vijayasarathy and his son MV Nagendra stood as umpires in the match between Mysore and Andhra at Bangalore in 1960-61.

2. Frank Tarrant and his son Louis umpired the match between Southern Punjab and MCC at Amritsar in November 1933.

3. In the Kenya-Bangladesh encounter at Nairobi in August 2006, Hitesh Modi was leg before to Mashrafe Mortaza for one. The umpire who raised the fatal finger was the father of the batsman, Subhash Modi. This is the only such father-son-player-umpire instance in international cricket.

4. Former England Test cricketer Matthew Maynard put on the gloves and turned out as an emergency wicketkeeper for a Glamorgan XI during a three-day friendly match against a team made up of Cardiff University students. Captaining the Glamorgan side was his son, the late Tom Maynard.

5. In October 1999, Dennis Lillee bowled for the Australian Cricket Board Chairman’s XI against the visiting Pakistanis and ended up with figures of 8-4-8-3. Opening the bowling alongside him was son Adam Lillee who was more expensive, but as successful, finishing with 6-0-29-3.

A suspect entry:

In 1926-27,an MCC team toured Latin America, playing matches in Chile, Peru and Argentina. The team was led by Plum Warner and a major star of the side was the youthful Gubby Allen.

There are various theories that hint that Allen was an illegitimate son of the Grand Old Man of English cricket, but nothing has been conclusively proved. In A Time of Renewal, Philip Snow writes “… he (Allen) had just warned a writer that he would ‘take him to the cleaners’ if he published that he was a son of Sir Pelham Warner. This was at a time when there was a publicised recrudescence of that belief.” That just underlines that there was speculation, but does little to clarify things.

That Allen was the only fast bowler of the infamous 1932-33 series who refused to bowl leg-theory, with the additional information that Warner was the manager during that tour, only leads us to speculate more. 

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)